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Russia sends warning after US military shoots down Syrian jet

Pentagon US shoots down Syrian fighter jet Pentagon US shoots down Syrian fighter jet
Pamela Guccione | 20 Giugno, 2017, 00:27

A USA fighter jet, for the first time in the Syrian conflict, on Sunday shot down a Syrian warplane that was bombing US-led coalition fighters near Raqqa.

SDF fighters are aligned with the Americans in the campaign against the Islamic State group.

A few hours later, the Syrian SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters and, "in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces", was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet, the Pentagon said.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that Russia's defenses would track the US-led coalition's warplanes and drones west of the Euphrates in Syria after a USA warplane had shot down a Syrian Su-22 fighter jet.

Throughout Syria's six-and-a-half year civil war, the United States has supported rebels opposed to President Bashar Assad's government and extremist groups like IS, while Russian Federation has backed Assad.

Moscow has condemned the USA downing of the Syrian government fighter jet after it dropped bombs nears US partner forces.

The U.S. relies on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to reclaim territory from ISIS.

Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, the ministry said.

Russian Federation said it would now "end co-operation with the American side".

"The worst thing any of us could do right now is address this with hyperbole", Dunford said at the National Press Club.

Franz Klintsevich, a senior lawmaker on the upper house of parliament's defense and security committee, told RIA news agency that Russian Federation would not automatically shoot down any object and that decisions would be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov also told the agency that a set of new USA sanctions that can be imposed on Russia will lead Moscow to retaliate. US officials say the aircraft had struck America's rebel allies.

Ozerov insisted that Russia will be tracking the coalition's jets, not shooting them down, but he added that "a threat for those jets may appear only if they take action that pose a threat to Russian aircraft". This was the first time that the USA has itself engaged in air-to-air conflict with Syrian aircraft since it joined the fight against the Islamic State in 2014. The U.S. also engaged a suspected Iranian drone June 8 in the first at the time U.S.

Tensions between the USA and Russian Federation over Syria are not new, but have so far been peacefully managed. USA warplanes have also carried out several strikes against pro-government forces over the past few weeks. "We call on everybody to avoid unilateral actions, to respect - I stress once again - Syria's sovereignty and to join our work which is coordinated with the Syrian government". The agreement covers four zones in Syria where the rebels are fighting pro-government forces. Former Guard chief Gen. Mohsen Rezai wrote on Twitter: "The bigger slap is yet to come". Before that attack, US officials informed their Russian counterparts.

The escalation comes as Syria's six-year-old war becomes ever more complex, with United States forces and their allies converging on the northern IS bastion of Raqqa in close proximity to Russian-backed government troops.

An independent monitoring group on social media backed the USA version of events, accusing Syrian tiger forces of attacking SDF forces near the Resafa village, south of Tabqa.

This file frame grab from video provided on Monday, June 12, 2017, by Nabaa Media, a Syrian opposition media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows smoke rising over buildings that were hit by Syrian government forces bombardment, in Daraa city, southern Syria.

The ministry insisted that the SU-22 jet had been on a mission in Syrian government airspace.

For several months the coalition has been backing SDF forces in a long-running attempt to capture the IS stronghold of Raqqa, where the group now holds four neighbourhoods.


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